Former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad has said there will be “no deal” with the Israelis over his appointment as the next UN envoy to Libya. There have been widespread reports that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres offered former Israeli government minister TzipiLivni the post of assistant secretary-general in return for Israeli, and by extension, US support for Fayyad taking up the Libya envoy post. There has been no formal statement about the offer, and Livni herself has refused to make any comment. However, if appointed, she would be the first Israeli to hold a top UN job. Writing in his Facebook page, Fayyad said that he would have nothing to do with any such attempt to get around the US objection to his appointment, which in any event, he added, was completely illogical. The opposition of new US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to his appointment on the basis that as a Palestinian he is unacceptable has resulted in a wave of international astonishment as well as criticism of Haley and of the Israeli government which subsequently backed her stand. Even in Israel there has been strong criticism. Fayyad, a former finance minister as well as prime minister, is widely respected as a moderate and pragmatist who tried to reform Palestinians institutions and put an end to corruption.
President Trump has hosted yesterday the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to the White House, the two have a busy work program that includes political and economic discussions. The most interesting thing is the line change that Trump has decided to do in relation to Israel, in fact, the President during the campaign he had said very close to the ideas of Netanyahu regarding the fight against terrorism, the iniquity of nuclear deal with Iran and the displacement of US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Excluding this last point, however, still without a concrete action, on the remaining issues Trump has not impressed the breakthrough announced remaining more or less in continuity with the line of Obama. Also regarding the resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine it seems that the administration has decided to return to support the solution of “two states” unwelcome by Netanyahu, however, the Chief of Staff of the White House said that the administration will not impose to Israel “two states” solution.
The Trump administration in Washington has objected to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ choice of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyed as the new UN special envoy to Libya on grounds that he is Palestinian. “For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel,” complained Nikki Haley, the new US ambassador to the UN appointed by President Donald Trump. It is not clear if the objection will scupper Fayyad’s appointment. Fayyad would be Guterres’ personal representative but his appointment as Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) requires Security Council approval. The US could veto it. A spokesman for Guterres said today that choosing Fayyad was “solely based on Mr Fayyad’s recognised personal qualities and his competence for that position”.
The Israeli Planning and Construction Committee Wednesday approved the construction of 770 housing units in the illegal Gilo settlement in the south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli sources. Rachel Greenspan, a spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality, told Ma’an that the building plans were approved in 2013, and were “currently undergoing routine processes of allocation regarding roads and public spaces.” Greenspan added that the municipality “continues to work according to the city’s master plan and will continue to develop Jerusalem for the benefit of all residents, Jewish and Arab alike.”
On Thursday, around 200 European legal scholars and practicing lawyers from 15 countries issued a statement that stands for Palestinian rights and considers the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “a lawful exercise of freedom of expression,” according to a BDS statement. Marking the 10-December UN Human Rights Day, which this year raises the slogan, “Stand up for someone’s rights today,” the legal scholars warned in the statement issued in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Dutch that outlawing BDS undermines basic human rights.
Israeli forces violently suppressed clashes overnight on Wednesday in Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, leaving several injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, while four Palestinian youths were assaulted and detained, local sources said. Fatah party spokesperson in Shufat refugee camp Thaer Fasfous told Ma’an that Israeli forces heavily deployed in the camp and took pictures of several buildings, causing clashes to erupt. Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian youth during the clashes, which Fasfous said lasted for hours on end. Fasfous said that seven Palestinian youth were shot and injured by rubber-coated steel bullets while many others suffered severe tear gas inhalation.
The European Union made yesterday a contribution of €18.98 million to the payment of November salaries and pensions of 65,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This contribution, which is channelled through the PEGASE mechanism, is being funded by the European Union (€14.0 million) and Sweden (€4.98 million). By this contribution, the EU has disbursed around €153 million this year to support the Palestinian Authority payment of salaries, pensions, social allowances, and referral to East Jerusalem hospitals.
Israeli forces detained at least 12 Palestinians during overnight and predawn military raids and operations between Monday and Tuesday across the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces conduct night raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-daily basis. According to UN documentation, the Israeli army carried out 252 military detention raids between Nov. 15 and Nov. 28. According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October. The organization estimates that 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.
UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov on Tuesday released a statement on Israel’s “Legalization bill”, which has the objective of protecting illegal settlements and outposts built on private Palestinian property in the West Bank. Some have pronounced it to be a step towards the annexation of the West Bank. “If adopted, it will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel, across the occupied West Bank and will greatly diminish the prospect of Arab-Israeli peace,” Mladenov said in a statement.
Israeli Occupation Forces Monday overnight arrested 13 Palestinians from cities all over the West Bank, in a wide raid and arrest campaign. Israeli military sources claimed that eight of those were allegedly involved in anti-occupation attacks. Raids included areas in Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilia, Jordan Valley, and Jerusalem, where four Jerusalemites, including two ex-prisoners and a minor have been arrested. Several homes were raided and a youth was “brutally attacked and beaten” at the hands of Israeli forces in Hebron.
Israeli forces carry out raid and arrest campaigns throughout occupied West Bank and Jerusalem almost on daily basis.